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Aegerion Announces Reduction in Workforce to Cut Costs

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Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.AEGR announced its plans to reduce its global workforce by approximately 25% by the end of the second quarter.

The workforce reduction is a part of the company's strategy to significantly lower its operating expenses and extend the cash position given the competitive pressure being faced by Juxtapid, approved for the treatment of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH).

On the third quarter call, Aegerion had acknowledged that the entry of PCSK9 inhibitors - Repatha and Praluent - in the market has impacted Juxtapid's business leading to a slowdown in new patient starts. Aegerion said that a meaningful number of patients have switched to the PCSK9 inhibitors. The conversion rate from prescription to patient on therapy declined to 41% in the third quarter from 48% in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, cumulative dropout (from the launch date until Oct 30) from the existing base of Juxtapid patients was 58%, up about 9% from Jul 31. Out of this 9%, the company said that at least half can be attributed to patients switching to a PCSK9 inhibitor, with the rest being patients who discontinued as a result of gastro-intestinal tolerability, diet or other issues.

We expect Juxtapid sales to continue being impacted by the PCSK9 inhibitors. Meanwhile, the company will continue working on growing Myalept sales.

Aegerion is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock. Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Actelion Ltd. ALIOF , Anika Therapeutics Inc. ANIK and Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. ATRA . All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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